Mark Washington experienced many trying days last spring and summer while dealing with the death of his mother.

"At first, it was pretty rough," the Episcopal Academy senior pitcher and first baseman said. "It was about persevering, really. I must say that baseball was a big help in taking my mind off it."

Washington, whose strong pitching keyed a 7-1 victory Saturday afternoon over Inter-Ac League rival Germantown Academy, scratches the initials "RCW" into the dirt before every start.

Rosella Clemmons Washington, a talented jazz singer, died nearly a year ago from complications related to breast cancer. In honor of her, a pink ribbon is embroidered on the back of EA caps.

Mark Washington, who yielded four hits and struck out five in six innings against the Patriots, says he thinks about his mother on "almost every pitch."

With an impressive showing during a preseason trip to Florida, Washington earned a spot in the starting rotation. He has responded nicely, with a 3-0 record and 40 Ks in 34 innings.

The 6-foot-6, 192-pounder mixes a fastball, curveball, and change-up. "He throws three pitches for strikes, and he throws to both sides of the plate," Churchmen first-year coach Mike Hickey said. "He's very composed, very mature."

Washington kept GA scoreless before being touched for a run in the sixth. Fellow senior righthander Russell Rhoads, a Penn recruit, took over in the seventh.

"My curveball wasn't working at first," Washington said. "I had to get a feel for that. What really was important for me was getting ahead of hitters."

In one of their best showings this season, the young Churchmen (8-12 overall, 2-4 Inter-Ac) netted eight hits off four pitchers.

The catalyst at the plate was junior catcher Austin Morgan, who delivered two two-run singles from the No. 5 hole. Leadoff man and second baseman A.J. Lotsis went 2 for 3, including an RBI single, and scored twice.

Washington is headed to Lehigh for baseball.

"In a few years, he could potentially be a man among boys," Hickey said. "His ceiling is so high."

Before the game, GA (9-8, 2-5) recognized players and coaches from its 2004 squad, which went 32-2 overall and 10-0 in the league. That team outscored foes by 276-50.

Episcopal Acad. 012 103 0 - 7 8 2

Germantown Acad. 000 001 0 - 1 5 0

WP: Mark Washington. LP: Emmett Harkins. 2B: GA-Ryan Elefante.